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Equatorial Guinea

Yearbook 2011

Equatorial Guinea. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema was elected President of the African Union (AU) for a year in January, which led to him hosting the organization's summit at the end of June.

2011 Equatorial Guinea

According to Countryaah official site, Obiang's presidency was controversial, as he is regularly nominated as one of Africa's most brutal dictators and his country as one of the world's most corrupt. But the presidency rolls in turn, with no significant consideration for political concerns, so Obiang had a couple of years to prepare the host for the annual contraction of Africa's leaders. According to Amnesty International, a number of opposition politicians and hundreds of students were arrested in the months before the summit, which was held in the newly built city of Sipopo outside the capital Malabo. The construction costs were stated by the government at about SEK 5.5 billion, but the Social Democratic opposition politician Placido Mico claimed that budget figures suggested that the real cost was several times higher.

It is Equatorial Guinea's huge oil reserves that allow the presidential family to run out of billions while most of the population lives below the poverty line. A US Senate inquiry in 2004 showed that US oil companies had paid staggering sums to Obiang and his relatives to get a contract for oil recovery.

In September, the French state seized eleven luxury cars belonging to President Obiang's son Theodorin. The US government later said it planned to confiscate assets worth more than $ 70 million from the president's zone, including a jet, several luxury yachts, cars and collectibles belonging to artist Michael Jackson. US Deputy Justice Minister Lanny Breuer noted that Theodorin Obiang was able to build up a fortune of over US $ 100 million despite a modest salary on paper as Agriculture Minister of Equatorial Guinea.

In a controversial referendum in December, 99% of the participants reported having agreed to a number of constitutional changes. The most important of these was that the president could be elected for a maximum of two terms of office every seven years and that a new post as vice president should be established. The opposition, which called for a boycott of the vote, argued that the changes were only to strengthen President Obiang's power. It was unclear whether he would have to retire in 2016, when the current mandate expires, or if he will be able to sit for 14 more years from then. He is alternatively considered to be able to secure continued power by appointing the son Teodorin as vice president and thus almost given successor.

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